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Career question - Temp work? Opinions wanted!

emmies_123emmies_123 Member Posts: 513 Member Member Posts: 513 Member
So I have been getting regularly burnt out at my current job and am considering a change. Looking for some un-biased, outside opinions on which direction I should take.

Basics: I am high-end bookkeeper, low end accountant. I learn super fast, but I have not used certain analysis skills since school 4-5 years ago.

There is no option for promotion in my company. Future of company is uncertain long term (will be good for another few years probably, but I'm only 30 so I need to think farther than that).

I am good at my current job, but things that have been festering under surface (and unable to change) are starting to build up and I'm getting burnt out more regularly.


So with that said:
-Anyone have experience with temp work, such as that offered by Robert Half? Is it steady enough to be viable option, or am I going to have to closely watch my finances and may end up with periods of now work?
-Is considering temp work a step back when I am currently a FT Salary employee?
-Should I consider a pay cut if the commute is much shorter than what I have now (say half the time)?
-Am I being silly for even rocking the boat? I get along (most days) with bosses, casual dress code, can do my work well...
-How do you be picky about next career change without coming off harsh/difficult person?
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Replies

  • AmyG1982AmyG1982 Member Posts: 1,040 Member Member Posts: 1,040 Member
    I think a lot of that depends on the market in your area. Where I am there's a lot of unemployment right now so leaving a FT job for temping would be crazy, but a few years ago when things were up it wouldn't have been as bad.

    Is there a reason you can't just look for a new FT job while you're still employed at your current one?

    I've done temp work before when I knew I was lacking skills in certain areas, I was able to build up some of that through my temp work to make moving to a better FT job more achievable. I temped for a few months and was able to get pretty steady work but it was lots of 1-2 day placements to fill in the gaps between longer ones.

    I think you need to decide what your priorities are and look for a job that matches. I like my job and my salary but I love my coworkers, the culture and that we have a really casual/flexible work place. We don't have strictly defined hours which I love. Any time I even think about going somewhere else I can't imagine giving up the flexibility, even for a little more money, but that's what's important to me now.

    I don't think its ever a bad thing to want a career change, especially if you're willing to work for it. As long as you're not expecting to just be given something I think putting your wants/needs first is smart. You spend too much time at work to be unhappy.

    I think only you can decide what's most important (money, coworkers, hours, flexibility, culture, commute etc.) and you should think about it carefully before deciding to give up FT work but if you're not happy you should definitely be looking to change things.
  • emmies_123emmies_123 Member Posts: 513 Member Member Posts: 513 Member
    Thank you Amy. I am looking for some of that community that you talk about. My job is in a small office with only two other people. There is a large age gap, and not much socializing or community feeling. I know they respect me, but I do feel lonely.

    My commute is also 40 mins on a good day, 60 mins average, one way. I realllllly want a shorter commute but I'm not sure if that is worth changing everything else for...

    I would like to buff up some skills before committing to something else full time, but again I'm not sure if that is worth the temping. I can do data entry and moderate analysis, but doing financials and monthly entries have been forgotten due to lack of skill use.
  • mbaker566mbaker566 Member Posts: 11,234 Member Member Posts: 11,234 Member
    a lot of companies in my area only do temp to hire.
    i worked at a large bank as a temp and was hired on.
    i went thru robert half and found them to be most reliable.
    it may be a step back or it might get your foot in the door as they have bigger resources than you personally do (probably)
    i would consider a cut if it was comparable to the amount of gas i would save or if the opportunity was too good to pass up

    robert half will work hard to find you what you want. they want happy temps. especially as a person with special skills
  • Reckoner68Reckoner68 Member Posts: 2,139 Member Member Posts: 2,139 Member
    mbaker566 wrote: »
    a lot of companies in my area only do temp to hire.
    i worked at a large bank as a temp and was hired on.
    i went thru robert half and found them to be most reliable.
    it may be a step back or it might get your foot in the door as they have bigger resources than you personally do (probably)
    i would consider a cut if it was comparable to the amount of gas i would save or if the opportunity was too good to pass up

    robert half will work hard to find you what you want. they want happy temps. especially as a person with special skills

    My experience with temp agencies in general (I did a LOT of temp work for quite a few years) is that if you prove that you're reliable, skilled, and do a good job...if one contract ends, they will place you again quickly because they know that you'll keep their clients happy. I had a tendency to turn week-long assignments into month-long assignments because people wanted to keep me around (what's that noise? the tooting of my own horn?) but because I was making the agency money, they kept me working. Oh, and yeah--I landed in my current position via contracting through an agency.

    I always felt like contract work was risky, but looking back on the years that I did it, it really wasn't bad (and it kept things fresh for a serial learner like me).
  • deannalfisherdeannalfisher Member, Premium Posts: 5,600 Member Member, Premium Posts: 5,600 Member
    you could also consider becoming your own business and offering contract services- work temp to hire for a while and then go out on your own - if you feel like you can take the pay risk etc
  • smantha32smantha32 Member Posts: 7,002 Member Member Posts: 7,002 Member
    I've never found temp work to be steady or reliable. I'm in IT.
    It sounds like you just need to find a new company to work for. You wouldn't have the burned out feeling working for someone good. Or work for yourself like someone else said.. that would probably take awhile to build though.
  • GymGoddessGoalsGymGoddessGoals Member Posts: 2,138 Member Member Posts: 2,138 Member
    I would suggest brushing up your resume and skills; start posting your resume on employment sites. If you don't need to leave your job immediately, let the employment sites do the work for you. Go on a few interviews, get the feel for the market in your area. I'm a huge fan of temp agencies however, you have to be prepared for when an assignment may end or if the position is not a good fit. I did some private contract work for a while and eventually got an offer that fit my needs with a great company. You have to be proactive and definitely keep your skills up to date. Good Luck!
  • ellie117ellie117 Member Posts: 293 Member Member Posts: 293 Member
    I used to be a people manager in my old position, and over the years I supervised 50+ temps. Some were for a temporary project, some were for what was supposed to be a temporary project turned full-time position.

    Every single one of the contractors I had, were only looking for temp work because they could not find FT work and/or they were let go from their FT positions due to layoffs/downsizing. Every single one wanted a FT position in the roles I hired them in, but I was only able to hire on maybe 6 or 7 over the years.

    FT may be hard to come by. If you're not 100% dissatisfied in your current role, personally I would stick with it while continuing to look elsewhere for other FT work. I would hate to take a temp job and have the contract end before I found a new contract or permanent role and risk being unemployed.
    edited October 2019
  • J_NY_ZJ_NY_Z Member Posts: 2,313 Member Member Posts: 2,313 Member
    "There is no option for promotion in my company. Future of company is uncertain long term (will be good for another few years probably, but I'm only 30 so I need to think farther than that)."

    You are young enough to make a change and now is the time to do it. Don't wait on your employment to dictate your choices. Go and do it. I speak from experience.
  • LyndaBSSLyndaBSS Member, Premium Posts: 6,979 Member Member, Premium Posts: 6,979 Member
    I opted to do temp work years ago. I loved the diversity and was able to interview for FT work while temping.

    Robert Half is a reputable company. I agree with checking out the unemployment status where you are. Go for an interview with Half and ask how busy you can expect to be kept in your line of work.
  • emmies_123emmies_123 Member Posts: 513 Member Member Posts: 513 Member
    you could also consider becoming your own business and offering contract services- work temp to hire for a while and then go out on your own - if you feel like you can take the pay risk etc

    I do not have the self confidence to work for myself, at least not in this stage of life.

    Most of you are saying Temp work isn't that scary. I do feel like I would enjoy the variety, and Robert Half is the company I would be working through if I went that route. I do feel weird considering it when I'm already FT but if it would round me out nicely.
  • deannalfisherdeannalfisher Member, Premium Posts: 5,600 Member Member, Premium Posts: 5,600 Member
    emmies_123 wrote: »
    you could also consider becoming your own business and offering contract services- work temp to hire for a while and then go out on your own - if you feel like you can take the pay risk etc

    I do not have the self confidence to work for myself, at least not in this stage of life.

    Most of you are saying Temp work isn't that scary. I do feel like I would enjoy the variety, and Robert Half is the company I would be working through if I went that route. I do feel weird considering it when I'm already FT but if it would round me out nicely.

    start small - stay employed traditionally, but post on websites like upwork with services and costs - as you build a portfolio then you can assess if you stay working traditional or make the leap to go out by yourself
  • 4legsRbetterthan24legsRbetterthan2 Member, MFP Moderator, Greeter Posts: 19,370 MFP Moderator Member, MFP Moderator, Greeter Posts: 19,370 MFP Moderator
    emmies_123 wrote: »
    -Should I consider a pay cut if the commute is much shorter than what I have now (say half the time)?
    -Am I being silly for even rocking the boat? I get along (most days) with bosses, casual dress code, can do my work well...
    -How do you be picky about next career change without coming off harsh/difficult person?

    No experience with temp work but my advice for the following:
    -Should I consider a pay cut if the commute is much shorter than what I have now (say half the time)? - nope, salary is based on your skills and workload, it shouldn't vary drastically within a commutable distance.
    -Am I being silly for even rocking the boat? I get along (most days) with bosses, casual dress code, can do my work well... - not silly at all, in my personal experience casual desire to leave turns into "I need to get the hell out of here" in about a year. Never hurts to be ahead of the game, and the less badly you need to leave the more time you have to make sure your next opportunity is exactly what you want. I am just wondering why you are looking at temp work if you arent in a hurry to get out and feel uncomfortable with it. Are you looking for permanent positions too?
    -How do you be picky about next career change without coming off harsh/difficult person? - I don't think picky people do come off as harsh or difficult. Your job is a big part of you life, no one is telling you to marry the first person who walks by on the street, why approach your next job with that kind of carelessness. The person hiring should want you to be the right fit for the job as much as it is the right fit for you, unhappy workers tend to be crappy workers.
  • emmies_123emmies_123 Member Posts: 513 Member Member Posts: 513 Member
    emmies_123 wrote: »
    you could also consider becoming your own business and offering contract services- work temp to hire for a while and then go out on your own - if you feel like you can take the pay risk etc

    I do not have the self confidence to work for myself, at least not in this stage of life.

    Most of you are saying Temp work isn't that scary. I do feel like I would enjoy the variety, and Robert Half is the company I would be working through if I went that route. I do feel weird considering it when I'm already FT but if it would round me out nicely.

    start small - stay employed traditionally, but post on websites like upwork with services and costs - as you build a portfolio then you can assess if you stay working traditional or make the leap to go out by yourself

    Wouldn't that eat too much into my time if I stay employed for Full Time? At current job I'm out of my house 10-11 hours for work & commute. That leaves 4 hours of "free time", that is also taken up by fitness, meals, etc. Not sure I would want to add freelancing into my time...
  • emmies_123emmies_123 Member Posts: 513 Member Member Posts: 513 Member
    emmies_123 wrote: »
    -Should I consider a pay cut if the commute is much shorter than what I have now (say half the time)?
    -Am I being silly for even rocking the boat? I get along (most days) with bosses, casual dress code, can do my work well...
    -How do you be picky about next career change without coming off harsh/difficult person?

    No experience with temp work but my advice for the following:
    -Should I consider a pay cut if the commute is much shorter than what I have now (say half the time)? - nope, salary is based on your skills and workload, it shouldn't vary drastically within a commutable distance.
    -Am I being silly for even rocking the boat? I get along (most days) with bosses, casual dress code, can do my work well... - not silly at all, in my personal experience casual desire to leave turns into "I need to get the hell out of here" in about a year. Never hurts to be ahead of the game, and the less badly you need to leave the more time you have to make sure your next opportunity is exactly what you want. I am just wondering why you are looking at temp work if you arent in a hurry to get out and feel uncomfortable with it. Are you looking for permanent positions too?
    -How do you be picky about next career change without coming off harsh/difficult person? - I don't think picky people do come off as harsh or difficult. Your job is a big part of you life, no one is telling you to marry the first person who walks by on the street, why approach your next job with that kind of carelessness. The person hiring should want you to be the right fit for the job as much as it is the right fit for you, unhappy workers tend to be crappy workers.

    Item 1 - So if a job offered, say 2k less annually (per posting) and was half the commute, I shouldn't consider it?
    Item 2 - I am looking for permanent FT work too. I just did not want to limit my options by automatically ruling out Temp work because "it's just temping" when it may have been really useful option. And things that can't change have been festering for a while, but not quite at the "I need to escape" level yet.
    Item 3 - Thank you! I have issues saying no to people and I've been in a position where I may have to turn down a job before.
  • tcunbelievertcunbeliever Member Posts: 8,139 Member Member Posts: 8,139 Member
    I do not have experience with temp work myself, but have several friends who enjoy temp or temp to perm working as a way to build skills, not be bored, and find a workplace they consider quality. Sometimes you work at a place you don't like and don't want to become perm even if they offer it.

    I don't think going from FT to temp is a step back if you are burned out where you are and particularly since you have no options for advancement where you are now.

    I also commute an hour (90 min on bad days) to and from work - and if I could find a job for the same pay (or slightly less) that was closer, I would do so in a heartbeat. You are a bookkeeper, do the math. What would you save on gas each month with a shorter commute? Car maintenance? Car mileage? All of that adds up over the course of a year. I generally have to replace a vehicle every 3-4 years because I rack up 50K a year on them, if I could extend the life of my car, pay less for maintenance/gas, that in and of itself would be a raise in the sense of putting money back into my budget.

    You spend a lot of time at work every day/week/year, it seems silly to stay at a place you aren't enjoying working.

    Why do you have to justify wanting a different career? People change jobs all the time, if your employer wants and explanation and you don't want to burn bridges, then use the commute as a justification, or just wanting to be more challenged and expand your skill set, that's always a good one, or hey, wanting to work somewhere with promotion options.

    Also, you should save up some money before changing jobs, and yes, as a temp, save up some money to cover times when you might not get assignments right away, and also transitions where one employer pays on a different schedule than the next one...if you go from weekly paychecks to monthly ones, it can be rough if you aren't prepared with a bit in the bank.
  • emmies_123emmies_123 Member Posts: 513 Member Member Posts: 513 Member
    I do not have experience with temp work myself, but have several friends who enjoy temp or temp to perm working as a way to build skills, not be bored, and find a workplace they consider quality. Sometimes you work at a place you don't like and don't want to become perm even if they offer it.

    I don't think going from FT to temp is a step back if you are burned out where you are and particularly since you have no options for advancement where you are now.

    I also commute an hour (90 min on bad days) to and from work - and if I could find a job for the same pay (or slightly less) that was closer, I would do so in a heartbeat. You are a bookkeeper, do the math. What would you save on gas each month with a shorter commute? Car maintenance? Car mileage? All of that adds up over the course of a year. I generally have to replace a vehicle every 3-4 years because I rack up 50K a year on them, if I could extend the life of my car, pay less for maintenance/gas, that in and of itself would be a raise in the sense of putting money back into my budget.

    You spend a lot of time at work every day/week/year, it seems silly to stay at a place you aren't enjoying working.

    Why do you have to justify wanting a different career? People change jobs all the time, if your employer wants and explanation and you don't want to burn bridges, then use the commute as a justification, or just wanting to be more challenged and expand your skill set, that's always a good one, or hey, wanting to work somewhere with promotion options.

    Also, you should save up some money before changing jobs, and yes, as a temp, save up some money to cover times when you might not get assignments right away, and also transitions where one employer pays on a different schedule than the next one...if you go from weekly paychecks to monthly ones, it can be rough if you aren't prepared with a bit in the bank.

    Thank you for the great perspective! I had thought about gas (I went from filling my car up once a month to once a week!) And luckily I also have a support system through my husband where we would hurt but I wouldn't be homeless if I had a break between assignments.

    For those with temp experience, how much training did you get on skills you didn't already have? Or were you expected to know everything you were hired to do?
  • LyndaBSSLyndaBSS Member, Premium Posts: 6,979 Member Member, Premium Posts: 6,979 Member
    They will give you training if necessary but, of course, you'll get a higher hourly wage if you come in with those skills. Training you costs them money.
    edited October 2019
  • mbaker566mbaker566 Member Posts: 11,234 Member Member Posts: 11,234 Member
    also, this could give you contacts for future employement
  • mattig89chmattig89ch Member Posts: 2,642 Member Member Posts: 2,642 Member
    Could be a good source of experience, but you have to deal with the fact they can drop you like a bad habit anytime they want as well.
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